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    Ulstein Design says Bourbon Dolphin "exposed to more difficult conditions than it was designed for"

    News // March 31, 2008

    Following the publication late last week of the report of the Commission of Enquiry into the loss of the AHTS Bourbon Dolphin, the yard that built the vessel, Ulstein Verft, and company that designed her, Ulstein Design, has issued the following statement:

    “The Commission of Inquiry has done a thorough job after being given the important and difficult job of identifying the reasons for the capsizing and sinking of the Bourbon Dolphin on April 12th last year. We feel that the report is comprehensive and detailed in many areas. The Commission points to a series of related circumstances acting together to cause the loss of the Bourbon Dolphin,” said Ulstein Group's Deputy CEO Tore Ulstein.

    “Ulstein Verft followed all of the applicable rules... in the building of the ship, and we see that the Commission’s conclusions did not put forward any recommendations for changes to the existing regulations. It is clear from the report that there are not any faults in the design of the ship. The vessel was exposed to more difficult conditions than it was designed for,” said Mr Ulstein.

    He added that some of the points in the report are related to Ulstein:

    • Were the stability challenges not sufficiently communicated from the shipyard to the shipowner?

    “Ulstein delivered an approved stability manual with examples of realistic conditions. In such a manual it isn’t possible to provide an exhaustive list of conditions, as that would make the guide too comprehensive. Current conditions outside of those that are specified in the stability manual shall be calculated manually on board the ship. This includes not least anchor handling. A tool that can help the crew with this task is the load calculator that was installed onboard. Here the crew can enter the relevant conditions into the calculator at any point in time, and then receive an immediate answer back,” said Mr Ulstein.
     
    • Did the ship not have sufficient stability under the given loading conditions?

    “This would have been the case for every ship, and it was also a fact here. When a ship’s limitations are exceeded, there can be fatal consequences,” said Mr Ulstein. “The rationale of having a load calculator onboard is so that one can in advance calculate and be attentive of alternating extreme loads that the ship is exposed to under demanding marine operations."

    "Ulstein will continue to carry out our work on our ships with a high degree of safety and security. Even before the accident took place Ulstein took part in a research project involving demanding marine operations together with other serious actors in the maritime cluster, as an element of our continuous focus on safety in such operations. This work has lead to additional reinforcements in the aftermath of the tragic accident,” he concluded.


     

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